Pennsylvania Senate Candidate Fetterman Needs Computer to Process Audio in First In-Person Interview Since Stroke

Pennsylvania Senate Candidate Fetterman Needs Computer to Process Audio in First In-Person Interview Since Stroke
Democratic Pennsylvania Senate nominee John Fetterman holds a rally with U.S. Congresswomen Madeleine Dean and Mary Gay Scanlon at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pa., on Sept. 11, 2022. Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman used a computer to process audio in his first in-person interview since suffering a stroke earlier this year.

Fetterman, a Democrat running for U.S. Senate, was seated behind an Apple computer, which he looked at after a reporter asked him a question, to read audio converted into text, according to video of the interview, which was conducted on Oct. 7 and released on Oct. 11.

“Because of his stroke, Fetterman’s campaign required closed captioning technology for this interview to essentially read our questions as we asked them,” Dasha Burns, the NBC interviewer, said on air. “In small talk before the interview without captioning, it wasn’t clear he was understanding our conversation,” she added later. Joe Calvello, a spokesperson for Fetterman’s campaign told The Epoch Times via email that Fetterman has been transparent about needing closed captioning to “be precise and avoid missing words.”

“As we’ve said over and over again, John is healthy and he also still has a lingering auditory processing issue that his doctors expect will go away,” the spokesperson said, adding later, “Unfortunately for Dr. Oz and the pathetic Republicans who are desperately rooting against his recovery, John is getting better every day and he is going to win this race to be Pennsylvania’s next Senator.”

Brittany Yanick, a spokeswoman for the Oz campaign, said that Fetterman “has failed to be honest about two things: his support for releasing convicted murderers back on the streets and his health” and called on the candidate to release his medical records.

Fetterman, 53, suffered a stroke in May and required hospital care.

Fetterman still won the Democrat primary for the Senate seat, which is becoming vacant because Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is not running for another term.

Fetterman is vying with Mehmet Oz, the Republican nominee, for the seat.

Oz’s campaign shared video of Burns talking about the new interview but has not issued a statement on Fetterman needing closed captioning.

Fetterman is set to debate Oz in October but his campaign has required Fetterman be able to use closed captioning.

Mehmet Oz
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz holds a press conference with U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) in Philadelphia, Pa., on Sept. 6, 2022. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

‘Auditory Processing’ Issue

“I sometimes will hear things in a way that’s not perfectly clear. So I use captioning so I’m able to see what you’re saying on the, in captioning, and I’m able to respond to the question,” Fetterman said during the interview. He described the issue as an “auditory processing” problem.

“Every now and then I’ll miss a word. Every now and then. Or sometimes I’ll maybe mush two words together. But as long as I have captioning, I’m able to understand exactly what’s being asked,” he said.

Fetterman struggled to pronounce certain words and some of his sentences did not make sense.

Fetterman said the issue would not have an impact if he were elected.

“I feel like I’m going to get better and better everyday, and by January I’m going to be much better and Dr. Oz is still going to be a fraud,” he said.

Fetterman also defended not handing over medical records.

“I feel like we have been very transparent in a lot of different ways. When our doctor has already given a letter saying that I’m able to serve and to be running,” Fetterman said. “And then I think there’s, you can’t be any more transparent than standing up on a stage with 3,000 people and having a speech without a teleprompter and just being and putting everything and yourself out there like that. I think that’s as transparent as everyone in Pennsylvania can see.”

The letter in question (pdf) was released in June. Dr. Ramesh Chandra said that Fetterman “should be able to campaign and serve in the U.S. Senate without a problem,” if the Democrat takes medications, eats healthy, and exercises.

Fetterman said interviews and campaign stops can give voters confidence in his condition.

From The Epoch Times

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